Why is the teen birthrate in the U.S. so high? One big reason: Sex ed in many schools sucks.
In Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood, some teens got so fed up that they put together a film about the dire need for real sex education.
Here’s the trailer:
The high school students have also launched a Facebook campaign and drawn up a list of demands, including “comprehensive sexuality education” beginning in 9th grade and designated school staffers to whom students can go for free condoms.
Many teenagers are daunted by the prospect of buying contraception in a drug store, as high-school junior Merilin Castillo explains: “[I]n CVS, they have [the condoms] behind a bin and it’s locked. So you have to go through the shameful process of asking someone if I can please have a condom. If there are people around, if there’s anyone that you know around, it’s very awkward to have to be like, ‘Hey, can you open this so I can buy a condom?’”
Other high school students — like ones in the small Nevada town of Fernley — are fighting back against abstinence-only curricula.
You might think old-fashioned school sex ed is passé anyway. Everything you need to know is at your fingertips on the internet, right? In the case of teens and sex, not so. A new study to be published in the Journal of Health Communication found that American teenagers are wary of sexual health info online (with good reason). “The teens indicated a distrust of online information because it is often user-generated and could therefore be incorrect. They also noted that they would probably have to sort through an abundance of sexually explicit material to find the factual information they were looking for,” according to a press release about the study.
If we don’t want teens to rely on what they find by googling “sex,” we need to get decent sex ed into our schools.
This is the latest in a series of Saturday GINK videos about population and reproduction (or a lack thereof).